Lillie, Beatrice, 1894-1989

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1894-05-29
Death 1989-01-20
Canadians

Biographical notes:

Beatrice Lillie, stage star, was born in Toronto, Canada on May 29, 1894. Her first appearances on stage were in 1914 in Canada and in England in musical revues. She made her Broadway debut in Andre Charlot's Revue of 1924 . Miss Lillie's most notable Broadway performances were in The Seven Lively Arts, Inside U. S. A., Ziegfeld Follies of 1957 and High Spirits . She toured the world in An Evening with Beatrice Lillie from 1952 to 1956. Miss Lillie appeared in films and on television. She married Sir Robert Peel in 1920. Beatrice Lillie retired to England in 1977. She died January 20, 1989.

From the guide to the Beatrice Lillie papers, 1919-1989, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Beatrice Lillie, comedienne, actress, singer and author, was born May 29, 1894 in Toronto, Ontario.

She left school for the stage at age 15 to tour Canada in The Lillie Trio with her mother Lucy and sister Muriel.

After coming to London in 1914, Lillie joined Andre Charlot's Revue, where she later made her Broadway debut in 1924. With a career spanning more than 50 years, she performed in revues, plays, film, on radio and television and also enjoyed a successful recording career. Lillie frequently performed both in London and the United States, earning her fame as "The Toast of Two Continents."

In 1920 Beatrice married Sir Robert Peel, gaining the title Lady Peel. The couple had one son, Robert Peel Jr., in 1934. She was widowed in 1934 and lost her son to the war in 1942.

Lillie traveled to the Middle East, Africa, France and Germany to perform for the troops during WWII, an effort for which she received a decoration from General Charles de Gaulle. She developed close friendships with other famous figures, including Noel Coward, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw and Charlie Chaplin. During the war Beatrice Lillie met John Phillip Huck who would become her manager and life-long companion.

Ms. Lillie starred in shows by Noel Coward, George Bernard Shaw, Rogers & Hart, Schwartz & Dietz and Cole Porter. Lillie became best known for starring in This Year of Grace (1928), written for her by Noel Coward, and received equal recognition for her version of Coward's song, "Mad dogs and Englishmen." Other notable Broadway performances include The Seven lively arts (1947), Inside USA (1948), Ziegfeld follies of 1957 and High spirits (1964). She toured the world with her one-woman show An Evening with Beatrice Lillie from 1952-1956, winning a Tony Award in 1953. Lady Peel made a handful of films, which met with varying degrees of success. Beginning with an early silent film Exit smiling (1926) and ending on a high note with her role as a Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly modern Millie (1967). Beatrice Lillie published her autobiography, Every other inch a lady, in 1973.

Beatrice Lillie retired to England to recover from a stroke in 1977. She died January 20, 1989 at her home, Henley-on-Thames, England. She was 94 years old.

From the description of Beatrice Lillie papers, 1911-1995. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122606547

Beatrice Lillie, comedienne, actress, singer, and author was born May 29, 1894 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She left school for the stage at age fifteen touring Canada in The Lillie Trio with her mother Lucie and sister Muriel.

After coming to London in 1914, Lillie joined Andre Charlot’s Revue, where she later made her Broadway debut in 1924. With a career spanning more than fifty years, she performed in revues, plays, films, on radio and television and enjoyed a successful recording career. Lillie frequently performed both in London and the United States, earning her fame as “The Toast of Two Continents.”

In 1920 Beatrice married Sir Robert Peel, gaining the title Lady Peel. The couple had one son, Robert Peel Jr., in 1921. Beatrice Lillie was widowed in 1934 and lost her son to the war in 1942.

Lillie traveled to the Middle East, Africa, France and Germany to perform for the troops during WWII, an effort for which she received a decoration from General Charles de Gaulle. She developed close friendships with other famous figures, including Noel Coward, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, and Charlie Chaplin. During the war Beatrice Lillie met John Philip Huck who would become her manager and life-long companion.

Ms. Lillie starred in shows by Noel Coward, George Bernard Shaw, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, and Cole Porter. Lillie became best known for starring in This Year Of Grace (1928), written for her by Noel Coward, and received equal recognition for her version of Coward’s song, Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Other notable Broadway performances include The Seven Lively Arts (1947), Inside USA (1948), Ziegfeld Follies 1957, and High Spirits (1964). She toured the world with her one-woman show An Evening With Beatrice Lillie (1952-1956), winning a Tony Award in 1953.

Lady Peel made a handful of films that met with varying degrees of success, beginning with an early silent film Exit Smiling (1926), and ending on a high note with her role as Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Beatrice Lillie published her autobiography, Every Other Inch A Lady, (1973.)

Beatrice Lillie retired to England to recover from a stroke in 1977. She died January 20, 1989 at her home, Henley-on-Thames, England. She was 94 years old.

From the guide to the Beatrice Lillie papers, 1911-1995, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

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Subjects:

  • Performing Arts
  • Women comedians
  • Musical theater
  • Actresses
  • Entertainers

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  • Performer

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